In 2017, we established a reading group that sought to make sense of how to understand, respond to, and inherit the international projects of which we were becoming a part (or, increasingly, apart).1 A seminar followed, and, in 2018, a workshop was held called ‘Learning from Failure’,2 which included our two essayists. Picking through the mounting debris of the liberal (secular, anti-racist) international order are, Vasuki Nesiah, on ‘Freedom at sea’,3 and Adam Sitze, on ‘The crime of apartheid: genealogy of a successful failure’.4 Essays to come from the project will explore revolutionary failures and the role of failure in the ethical formation of international lawyers.